University of Illinois
discovery partners

University of Illinois unveils design for innovation institute

Sept. 26, 2022
The Discovery Partners Institute will be built in a new Chicago neighborhood called "The 78."

The University of Illinois’ Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) has unveiled the design for the new headquarters in Chicago.

The facility will be on a one-acre site in an area along the Chicago River southwest of downtown known as "The 78."

The DPI headquarters will provide more than 200,000 square feet of office, classroom, lab, and event space for the institute and its university and industry partners.

The State of Illinois is committing $500 million in capital funding to launch DPI and establish its Innovation Network at regional universities throughout the state. DPI is part of the University of Illinois System.

The project is expected to break ground in 2024, becoming the first building to begin construction in The 78 Innovation District.         

The eight-story building — a layered dome of glass and steel— is designed to create strong connections to the communities on all sides of the building, the adjacent riverfront, and the future phases of the larger Innovation District at The 78.

The base will be populated with space that will be shared with the public — a café, auditorium, multipurpose exhibition space and classrooms.

Architecture firms OMA and Jacobs are leading the design. The Illinois Capital Development Board oversees design and construction.

Related Midwest, the developer of The 78, donated the land for DPI and will oversee the continued buildout of the 62-acre property.

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